Artist Statement

Creating mixed media work, I explore dreams, memory and anxiety through internal dialogue and the immediacy of thought language. Almost child-like drawings are made from coloured pens and pencils and acrylic paint on un-primed and unrefined paper and recycled fabrics. The flimsy and impermanent quality to the works emphasise the ‘throw away’ nature of both the physicality of the drawings and the thoughts depicted through graphic text. At first, my drawings translate as comical, light-hearted, and playful with often garish and dissonant colour play. In reality, colour is used to intentionally contradict with the prevalent themes of fear, anxiety, embarrassment, and self-consciousness. This conflict between colour and darkness nods to my own relationship with humour and internal struggle; one I would describe as ‘pathetic funny.’ This phrase, however, is not used to take away from the struggle of anxiety I strive to display but more make light of it in the same way my work does.

 

 I explore space through incessant layering and nonsensical format. Words are often scattered to make sentences that are not quite right, or layered so on the verge of irritating. But this subtle introduction of uneasiness within an otherwise inviting space creates a gateway to my internal dialogue. Informal sentences and words explore the concept of thought and how that differs from speech. My interest in language as an art form is really the backbone of my work and its process. Thoughts and phrases depicted in drawings often come from my diary, where a word or idea is picked out and then either directly copied in its entirety or, more often than not, edited and shifted in its meaning and context. Simple interjections like “FUCK” and “OH” reference larger bodies of text about past trauma or thoughts. Through this, a conversation of “self-interruption” is implied between my past and present self. I also use commanding imperatives like “STOP” and “DON’T” to explore duality in terms of an internal dialogue which weaves between an aggressive voice of command and a submissive plead of mercy. More recently, my practice has seen a shift from physical processes of drawing and painting to digital art. This change in process has led to drawings that are more heavily layered and distorted, with extensive passages from my diary being the focal point.

 

In an interview with Sarah Roselle Khan, artist Penny Goring explains her channelling of thoughts into writing was a way, “They exist without me” (Goring, 2017). Goring uses words as instant releases of the conscious and unconscious mind. There is a present and conscious voice in her poems that embrace the now while reminiscing and expelling the past. I find her words inspiring as they balance having power with being without it. Language is embedded within my practice, it starts with words and is retrospectively edited with the use of words.